Cloud Backup Solution for Database, MS Exchange, Quickbooks and Outlook PST files

Why database files are hard to back up?

A regular file (e.g. MS Office document, PDF or image file) is easy to back up. These files are small and rarely locked. It is very fast to copy or upload.

Database files (such as SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Sybase, Informix, MySQL, PostgreSQL) are very different:

  • (1) They are usually very large, requiring a much longer time to copy/upload;

  • (2) They are always open and locked. You cannot use a regular tool to copy or upload.

  • (3) They change frequently without a user clicking Save. They change before you can finish backup.

MS Exchange, Quickbooks and Outlook PST files are all database or database-like files.

Backup Method 1: Use DriveHQ Online Backup to Back up Database Files.

DriveHQ Online Backup client software can support database file backup with the following technologies:

  • - DriveHQ Online Backup supports Volume Shadow Copy (VSS Copy). It can create a snapshot copy of a database file when it is locked and being written to. It can then back up the database snapshot file to DriveHQ cloud storage.

  • - DriveHQ Online Backup supports automatic retrying and resuming. Backing up a large database file could take a very long time. In case of network interruption, DriveHQ Online Backup can automatically retry and resume from where it was interrupted. It does not need to start over again.

  • - DriveHQ Online Backup supports transparent data compression for faster transferring. Database files are usually not compressed for best I/O performance. They can be compressed by 75% or even more, i.e. a 10 GB database file can often be compressed to only 2.5 GB. DriveHQ Online Backup transparently compresses and decompresses the data for faster uploading and downloading.

Use DriveHQ Online Backup's Database/Email Backup Wizard

When backing up a database file, please use DriveHQ Online Backup's Database/Email Backup wizard. Do not use a real-time backup task to back up database files. This is because database files are constantly modified without user interaction. It is not possible to back up all changes in real-time. The backup frequency is dependent on your database file size and your upload speed. If your file is not large, it is ok to back up daily. Otherwise, you might want to back up to the cloud weekly. If you need daily backup, you can set it to back up to a local storage daily.

Performance Optimization for Large Database Backup

Backing up a small database file is relatively easy. Usually it will not have any network speed issue. Backing up a very large database file could take a long time and slow down your network speed.

DriveHQ Online Backup supports incremental/delta backup when you back up regular files. For example, if you have already backed up 1 million files, and if you add/change 10 files, then it only needs to back up 10 files. Also, Online Backup supports resuming. If you back up a file of 10GB, and if the network goes down after you uploaded 8GB of data. Next time, it will only need to upload 2GB of data.

DriveHQ Online Backup does not directly support incremental (delta, or block-level) backup for database files. There are two reasons:

  • - A database file change often affects numerous blocks. For example, if a database has a 1 million-row table, a simple DELETE, UPDATE, SORT, COMPACT or INDEX operation can completely change the file content, making it impossible or extremely inefficient to use block-level incremental backup.

  • - A database file is constantly being modified in multiple locations (many blocks). All blocks must be backed up in the correct order; any one error will require the entire batch operation to be rolled back.

  • - Backing up numerous small blocks is much slower than backing up a large block.

  • - When backing up a database file daily/weekly, assuming only 1% of the data is modified per day, it can actually affect 10% of the blocks. (In an extreme case, if there are 1000 blocks of 1 MB, if each block has one byte changed, then all blocks are changed, though the data change is only 0.0001%.) In this case, backing up the entire file is far more efficient.

  • - The most efficient incremental backup for database files is Transaction Log Backup. Instead of backing up the modified blocks of the database file, you only need to back up the database transactions (e.g. SQL commands, excluding read-only SELECT commands). The SQL commands are far smaller than the affected data blocks. Unfortunately, this method requires an identical database server. (otherwise, the restore process will take a very long time).

  • - A hybrid incremental backup solution for database files: Use the database software's native incremental backup tool to create a local incremental file, then use DriveHQ Online Backup to back up the local backup file to the cloud. For example, both SQL Server and Oracle support incremental backup, which is based on Transaction Log Backup. Therefore, it is much more efficient than block-level backup.

Backup Method 2: Use FTP (FTPS/SFTP) Scripts to Back up Database Files

DriveHQ is one of the largest FTP Server Hosting service providers. If you prefer command-line / shell scripts, you can create command-line FTP scripts to back up database files to DriveHQ's FTP server.

If your database server is on a Unix/Linux/Mainframe system (incl. AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, OpenVMS, BSD, etc.), then you need to use FTP Backup, or use DriveHQ Online Backup software's network backup feature. For more info, please visit Backup Solution for Unix/Linux/Mainframe .